Aaron Bowen is a songwriter and producer who just released his third album entitled Spring The Necessary Pilgrimage on More Than Folk Records. It’s a complete DIY effort where he recorded, mixed and mastered it. It’s one of most impressive efforts production wise that I have heard. That being said I am still a fan of someone who has recorded and mixed their album who then hands it off to a professional mastering engineer for a number of reasons I won't go into.
The music is a mix of jazz, R&B and soul, for the most part. Bowen truly has some talent taking these similar genres and combining them into a unique, cohesive sound. On top of that the songs are very catchy. He has no problem sounding exceptional in falsetto.
Up first is “The Great Rabbit.” The music combines fuzzy bass, guitar, warm electric keys, percussion and pads. As much as I enjoyed the music, the vocals carry the song. The hook is very well done and I wanted to hear more of what he had to offer.
I’m not sure if “Now I Know” was my favorite song but it was one of the more original ones. I say that because of the style. There an eastern vibe to it and the percussive aspects made me feel like I was heading into a tomb. The singing however is quite soulful. Up next is the more traditional jazzy sounding “Savage Harvest.” Unlike most jazz the vocal melody is infectious. “What is The Direction” is experimental in some ways but still feels connected to everything that came before. It has a little more in common with free jazz. The rising pads and samples were a nice touch.
“ Around The Sun” is one of the more upbeat yet smooth songs on the album while “A Brave New World” has a strong beat and bass line. “Winter Women” was another standout which really just had a unique vibe which is slick, ethereal and atmospheric. “Seance” is another winner which is about as soulful as you can get. The samples are again tasteful.
Spring The Necessary Pilgrimage is an exceptional album that gained my interest on the first song and kept it the till the end. Highly recommended.
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